Review: Poison

Author: Bridget Zinn
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reading Level: Young Adult (12+)
Pages: 276 (ARC)
Source: Gifted
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Love. Love. Love. Love. LOVEEEEEEEEE. There are no other words to describe my feelings toward this story. Zinn managed to captivate me and take me on a really great adventure in a mere 276 pages. This is one of those books that you can't put down because not only is it adorable, it's simply perfect and leaves you aching for more of the author's easy skill of transporting you to new worlds. It kills me to realize that I won't be able to immerse myself in any other faraway lands that spur from Zinn's mind. Instead, I'm still fully content with re-reading my new pick-me-up fantasy.

  • Magical kingdom in peril
  • Potions master (flavor: feisty)
  • Evil princess (distilled from former best frien)
  • Tiny pig (with essence of adorable)
  • Handsome ruffian (must be funny, charming, good at rescuing; best if smells nice)
Blend with romance, add a dash of enchantment, mix well for mayhem and drizzle in humor.
WARNING: Contents may be irresistible.
That cute little description taken off of the back of my ARC describes this novel perfectly. An irresistibly enchanting tale with tons of laugh-out-loud humor, a perfect love interest, and the cutest little magical pig that you will ever encounter combines to form a tale of friendship and heroism that is remarkably perfect for all age groups. The young ones can find a really lovely tale and role model in Kyra while elder teens, like myself, can immerse themselves in a cute story that'll easily put a smile on their face a thousand times over.

The plot of this novel was obviously fast-moving due to its short length, but I never felt rushed. It was full of magical creatures that I've never encountered before, as well as scary witches that eat people (think Hansel and Gretel's story but more physically revolting) and gypsies that just want to lend a hand. The wide array of creatures and characters easily allowed us to continuously be surprised, though the overarching finale of the story could be inferred by any reader able to read between the lines.

But the most interesting aspect of the plot was clearly Kyra's Master Potioner status. There are only three masters in her kingdom and she is one of them. She can create potions that nobody ever dreamed of and loved her potion entitled Doze that puts people to sleep. Her darts tend to get her out of a lot of shady situations because of that little potion. But she does have one potion that can never fall into the wrong hands. It's got a red skull on it and it's entitled Poison...otherwise the only potion that can be used for immediate murder. The potion she used on her best friend, the Princess, out of fear that her marriage was going to cause her kingdom to fall. Would you be able to kill your best friend if it saved the entire kingdom? That's the question that led Kyra on the ultimate quest in this novel, and it's one that easily keeps you reading.

Lastly, I want to address the characterization. Clearly, I am a huge fan of Kyra. She's amazingly strong-willed and determined. She's focused and brave and all around amazing. She's the type of heroine that should be written about more often because she can easily serve as a role-model to younger children. And then there's Fred. Gosh, I truly loved Fred. He's handsome, hilarious, and full of surprises. Most of the humor in this novel was delivered through him and his actions were often very surprising. And I must throw out a shout out to Langley the amazing wolf dog and his best friend/animal love Rosie the magical pig (who is the most adorable pig you will ever encounter, I tell you!)

Needless to say, I have nothing but praise for this novel. I loved it more than I thought I would. What I originally imagined to be a cute read was not only adorable, but mesmerizing. Zinn is a literary genius and easily created a debut tale that is unforgettable. This story is not one to be missed. A must read for anyone of any age, even those who are not fantasy lovers.

5 stars



  1. I really, really, really want to read this book!!! I've been craving a good high fantasy lately, and your review has me drooling over it. Great review! Can't wait to read it (:

  2. Wow what a fabulous review!! I have had my eye on this book for a few weeks now, and I'm so glad you loved it! Now I can't wait to read it :D Also, that description from the back of your ARC is SO CUTE!!

  3. Awesome review! This book sounds like so much fun! Kinda like "The Black Calderon" in a way. Guess I'll need to snag this one up at some point!

  4. Glad you liked it! I tried to read it after Krista but the first 18 pages were super hard for me to get through. I tried to power through but I gave up :( love your recipe for poison :)

  5. I really liked this one, too! And I totally agree with Christianna--it's very similar to Disney's The Black Cauldron (I even say so in my review)! Glad you liked it. My review will be up in the next 2 weeks!

    YA Sisterhood

  6. Wow you make this sound amazing! I was a little iffy on reading it because it sounded a little strange. I'm really curious about this pig.. it sounds so cute! Does it talk? Love the recipe too, definitely makes me want to pick it up more.

  7. Love this review, I will have to add this to my list. :)

  8. I am very much looking forward to reading Poison, and meeting the pig! This sounds like a very good story, and I have heard such good things about it. I was incredibly sad to find out about the authors struggle with cancer and it is heartbreaking that such an amazing person and talent isn't here anymore. I will be honored to read this book, and reread it if it is as good as I think it will be!